Hortatory is a word used to describe a behavior or action that is encouraging. In the face of great economic crisis, the president's speech takes on a hortatory or encouraging tone, at a time when people most need the reassurance.

Hortatory, pronounced hawr-tuh-tawr-ee, is probably not a word you hear a lot, but what it describes is common. Teachers often give hortatory speeches when students are most overwhelmed. Coaches scream hortatory remarks to their team in the locker room to keep the players motivated. When you're lying in bed in the morning ignoring your alarm, look for that little hortatory voice in your head, encouraging you to get up so that you're not late.

Definitions of hortatory

adj giving strong encouragement

exhortative, exhortatory, hortative
giving courage or confidence or hope

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.